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Had anyone ever had such a quick labour they haven't had time to sort childcare?

(28 Posts)
TimeyWimeyStuff Thu 13-Dec-12 20:05:55

Just curious really - Pretty much as the title says. I'm trying to work out our arrangements for baby due in Feb. We already have a two year old and our nearest relatives who have offered to drop everything and come at any time are one and three quarter hours' drive from our home. I expect that with the average labour, this would be fine, and that we could have someone here before I had to go to hospital. But I have heard of some really quick labours, so just wondered if anyone had found themselves without childcare and perhaps been forced to take a child with them/handed over in a hospital car park or something like that. Or is that very rare?

This is on my mind because we had a scare the other week and had to lift DD from her bed and take her to the labour ward where I went for monitoring. Once I was admitted, it was fairly simple for DH to take her home, but he couldn't do that if I was in labour and I needed him there as my birth partner.

We are not close to many people locally, so I need to start now if I am going to look for a local care arrangement for the middle of the night or weekend (any time when nursery is closed, really). I'm considering offering to pay one of the nursery staff to be on call (or maybe a couple of them, on a rota). I'd feel bad asking local friends who I don't know that well, who have their own children to deal with. Also it's surely best if someone comes and sleeps in our house so DD does not have to be moved?!

Hope some of you are willing to share experiences,

forevergreek Thu 13-Dec-12 20:09:48

I would use the arrangements planned but ask a friend to be the emergency contact ( ie they come to you or you drop at theirs, and relatives pick up/ take over as soon as they can arrive)

Ryuk Thu 13-Dec-12 20:24:37

This may be way off topic, but would it be possible to consider a home birth?

TimeyWimeyStuff Thu 13-Dec-12 20:29:50

Thanks both. No, i'm afraid home birth isn't an option as I'm high risk and have to deliver on the labour ward, which is 40 mins drive away. Even if I was low risk, DH really wouldn't be comfortable with a home birth given how far we are from hospital support. He's been quite clear about that!

I'm partly trying to resolve my own situation, but also genuinely interested to hear other people experiences. I love reading the logistical details of birth stories for some reason <saddo>

leobear Thu 13-Dec-12 20:41:57

I don't know, but if anyone has the answer, let me know grin I'm due to give birth to DC2 this week, and we have nobody to look after DD (aged 2) if it happens in the middle os the night. Our nanny is an hour away, and is on standby during the day/evening, but we can't be certain she could come any time. If worst comes to worst, I'm planning to go to hospital and have second baby on my own, while DH looks after DD.

YeahThatsTheBadger Thu 13-Dec-12 20:52:15

My mum was our childcare. She's an hour away. For DD, I called her at 2:30, she was here for 3:30, in hospital at 4:30 and baby born at 6. For DS2, I called her at 8, she got here at 9, in hospital by 9:50 and baby born at 10:20.

I would just call them as soon as you're in labour. Have a local back up just in case. But it will all work out! smile

bluechik Thu 13-Dec-12 21:00:32

Yes you need to make other arrangements. Our second child was born when our eldest was only 17 months. With the first birth we had plenty of warning. However with the second, waters broke at midnight and by 2.30am contractions were strong enough to have to go to hospital - 5cm dilated on arrival.

We were paranoid about child care as we have no family nearby. We ended up with a emergency contact list of about 10 people willing to be contacted at any time and our plan was to rely on that list if things kicked off overnight and then book a babysitting service if needed to cover daytime.

What actually happened was that we rang our way through our entire list with increasing desperation - by sheer fluke three people were away overseas and the others just didn't hear their phones. I have never been so grateful when no. 10 answered. Fortunately she lives nearby and came quickly. We will always be so grateful to her as due to rapidly unfolding events it was impossible to organise a sitter when morning came, so she took the day off work and stayed with our son until we came home the next evening.

I would strongly urge you to have several nearby people on your emergency list with your relatives as backup.

What also helped us was to have a suitcase packed for our son with things he would need for a day and a night. This makes it easy for someone to step in even if they are caring for your child at home. We typed up a note about his usual day and foibles and had some prepared meals ready in the freezer labelled with his name.

It is less than ideal to contemplate leaving your child with people you don't know very well, and it was something I really worried about. We were very lucky in the end with the way things worked out for us.

TimeyWimeyStuff Thu 13-Dec-12 21:02:48

Oh Leo, I really hope it works out for you. You are brave to consider going it alone. If you were near me, I'd help. (PM me in case if you want!)

Good timings Badger! With my first, my mum drove five hours and managed to be with me by the time I moved to the delivery suite. But we were lucky as I was in for monitoring anyway (preterm) and I'd been told at the very early stages to expect to give birth within hours. Had I been over 37 weeks I'd probably still have been at home at the point when mum arrived, but I wouldn't have known it was the real thing until then, IYSWIM, so she wouldn't have been called.

I'm going to speak the the girl who babysits for us now and then, but she's just turned 18 so I doubt we could expect her to stay home and sober for weeks on end, just in case!

TimeyWimeyStuff Thu 13-Dec-12 21:05:01

X-post blue. Thanks for your post, there is some really welcome good advice in there. Just reading about your experience made me feel some of the anxiety you must have gone through! Right, I need to be bold and just start asking folk. blush

girlgonemild Thu 13-Dec-12 21:11:58

I had this dilemma a few months ago. After a 40hr labour with dc1 I expected something around 20hrs with dc2. It was about 2 1/2-3hrs much of which I spent wondering whether taxi to hospital on my own or homebirth would be the best option. It was a bit stressful and thankfully an amazing neighbour stepped in(at 3 in the morning!!) and we got to hospital just in time.

With your journey being 45mins and in laws over an hr away I think you need a back up plan.
Ask a local friend or two tell them it's only in case of dire emergency if plan 1 doesn't work. People with children understand!

LemonBreeland Thu 13-Dec-12 21:16:55

My first birth was only 4 hours so I knew that my second woulc be quick.

I was lucky that I was able to have a home birth, but if I had gone into labour during the day I needed someone to look after DS1. I had 3 local friends on call. They were not people I knew massively well, but it is important to have options.

DS2 came in the night as it happened and I didn't need to disturb DS1.

With DD I also had her at home. The labour was 50 minutes beginning to end. I would not have even made it to our nearest hospital if I had been going there.

LemonBreeland Thu 13-Dec-12 21:17:40

You will find that people really don't mind being asked to do something like this. Even if you don't know them that well.

coldcupoftea Thu 13-Dec-12 21:20:15

Ask a friend to be a backup- better still ask 2 friends! Worst case scenario they would only have to sit with your DD for an hour or 2 until your relatives turn up.

nannyl Thu 13-Dec-12 21:22:43

Well with my first (planned home birth) i didnt even realise i was in proper labour... 20mins later DD was born...

So that wouldnt have given me much time

planning a 2nd home birth so hopefully DD will be asleep, and wont need childcare

tourdefrance Thu 13-Dec-12 21:24:42

We had my sil on call and they were 2 hours away. My waters went at 36 weeks but no other signs of labour so told her to pack bag and would let her know. Proper contractions started at midnight and we rang her. By 2 am they were 3 mins apart and she was not yet there. So rang our neighbour who had offered to help and she was just coming out her front door when sil turned up.
If it is just a case of waiting for the actual people to turn up I would talk to any friendly neighbour with kids.

NeilsBoar Thu 13-Dec-12 21:42:36

I missed DS2's birth... We had a neighbour within 30 seconds walk from our door and another within a 5 minute drive 'primed' to have DS1 - however, DW had been having 'false starts' for several days before hand, in the end we only believed it was real when contractions were about 2 mins apart.

Neighbour across the road didn't hear the door (was early morning) and other neighbour was ill. I drove DW to the hospital with DS1 and dropped her off, while I carried on phoning round other local friends - got him dropped off and myself back to the hospital about 40 mins later...

As I arrived at the door of the birth suite I heard a baby crying; DS2 had been born about 20 mins after DW arrived.

In the end it didn't really 'matter' I'd been there through the majority of the labour and the last bit was so quick my presence or absence wasn't really noted by DW - plus DW and DS2 were both safe and well.

So yes, by all means make plans as best you can but if you can't get childcare and your DH has to do it, its not the end of the world.

Snowflakepie Thu 13-Dec-12 21:54:20

Thank you for asking this op! DC2 due in June, DD will be 3. Both sets of parents are about 2 hours away, both willing to drop everything at any time and stay sober etc, but I do worry. I have 2 good friends nearby who I'm sure I could ask to have DD for a few hours if parents are on the way, but I do wonder about cultivating a few more in the next few months, lol! Having said that, if I had to go it alone I would, I would just feel sad for DH if he missed it. DD was 14 hours from first signs to being born, so I'm hopeful all will be well. Good luck you x

SevenElvesAndAReindeer Fri 14-Dec-12 13:02:46

DD was born 3 hours after my first contraction. Thankfully I was already in hospital as my waters had gone earlier that day and I was under 36 weeks, also pre-term with DS so no chance of a home birth. DH arrived 15 minutes before before she was born by the time my mum had arrived to look after DS. I'm a bit worried about DC3 arriving quickly (due in May).

My neighbour actually had her baby at the side of the road as she didnt make it to hospital in time. Thankfully she had her sister with her who's a paramedic.

rrreow Fri 14-Dec-12 15:02:00

I'm wondering the same thing. I was induced with DS but had a very quick labour (they broke my waters, contractions started and he was born 3 hours later).

My SiLs have offered to take care of DS when I go into labour, but I'm worried about going into labour in the middle of the night (as that seems quite common) and them not being able to come over (30min drive in terms of distance, but they don't have a car). I've been thinking of asking one SiL to come stay with us from about week 38-39 (she is also our part-time nanny for DS, so would be coming over every day anyway). Not sure yet though!

redwellybluewelly Fri 14-Dec-12 15:36:10

Following with interest (DC2 due in June but will be hospital sob as too high risk for HB)

~ if during day then DD at nursery or MIL/DM can step in - a rota will be set up depending on who is doing what as they both work part time, SIL also willing to help out picking up or dropping off
~if at night more complex, SIL and cousins will all be asked if they could either have DD dropped off on way to hospital or if they will come to ours as Dd will be not quite 3.

Either way we'll have a bag packed for me, and for DD and a list of her favourite things as I suspect she will be unsettled, and food in the freezer etc.

redwellybluewelly Fri 14-Dec-12 15:36:51

And yes common to go into labour/birth at night as you are more rested and its an animal instinct kind thing apparently.

TinkyPeet Fri 14-Dec-12 15:44:27

As everyone else has said build up some back up support,however every labour is different, with my first labour started at 7.30am, was in hospital by 8.50, after a bath and stuff, taken to delivery at 9.10 and ds was worn at 9.24. With my second, was induced so went in on the Monday, induced 3 times and dd was born 3.29am FRIDAY lol. Thankfully my mum had ds for me and took him to school and stuff, this time we will juggle between my parents and dh's parents, depending on times and situ. point? Lol yeah build up some more people that can sit in untill your relatives can be there

SledsImOn Fri 14-Dec-12 15:56:43

I was trying to think of something to say that was helpful, but then I realised you have a DH - if it comes to the crunch, at least he will be able to look after your dd, so don't panic.

I'm really lucky to have my parents half an hour away by car, so the plan here is for them to come and grab my children/distract them, while I give birth. I haven't got anyone to be with me, and after asking on here apparently it's not that bad, so don't worry if it does come to that - some people even said it was a relief not to have to think of anyone else smile

I hope you can sort something out so you have someone with you and someone to look after dd x

SledsImOn Fri 14-Dec-12 15:57:36

Btw fwiw last time my labour was 3.5 hours, but we lived by my parents then so Mum just came and took ds1 to her house.

SlightlyCrumpledChristmasPaper Fri 14-Dec-12 16:00:12

I would have done if I had had to wait that long with DC3. Thankfully I have a lovely, lovely neighbour who came round at 11pm & slept on our sofa. Thankfully it was all so quick I was on the ward by 2 & DH came home.

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